With the ‘weather bomb’ still lashing the coast of Britain, bringing record gales, thunder and snow, we can be in no doubt that storm season has come round again. Winds that topple trees, fences and buildings, rain that floods houses and waves that crash through flood defenses – all this and more is on it’s way, and it’s up to you to make sure your home can stand the test.
The two most important parts of getting through a storm with your property intact are preparation and cleanup. Failing to prepare and maintain your property for incoming weather can have serious consequences, whilst ignoring any damage done by a storm can have lasting effects on your home and come back to haunt you long after the storm has passed.
With winter well underway and a flurry of storms incoming, it’s time to batten down the hatches and follow Adrian Flux’s tips for keeping your home safe in a storm.
Preparing Your Home
An important consideration, even before a storm has been forecast, is that most home insurance policies won’t cover any damage that arises from poor maintenance. It’s well worth keeping your house in good condition, inside and out, even if it might end up getting damaged in the storm – if only so that you are then eligible to claim for any eventual damage.
One of the key areas of your house to check is the roof, making sure that there are no loose or cracked tiles. Damaged tiles are likely to break under the strain of a storm and could cause a leaky roof or fall off onto your car, your garden or an unfortunate passerby. Guttering can also come loose over time, and the extra weight of storm winds and rains can cause already-unsafe pipes to come away from your home, with the potential for water damage to your home and loose sections hitting the building.
Trees close to buildings can also cause damage in high winds, especially those with branches near windows. Trees overhanging driveways can cause a lot of damage to cars when branches snap off, whilst those near your home can quite easily break windows, gutters and even roofing in strong winds. It’s worth cutting back hazardous trees from time to time, though bigger trees should always be left to trained professionals.
Adrian Flux’s tips for storm safety include:
- If you’ve been alerted to a flood risk in your area, move everything you can upstairs or off of ground level
- Lock all your doors and windows – we assume they’d be shut anyway, but locking them provides a little extra security against them being thrown open by the wind
- Keep your car or bike locked away in the garage, if you have one, to prevent any falling debris from damaging it
- Prepare an emergency ‘storm kit’ incase your area suffers a power cut – items like torches, blankets, medicine, water and food could all be essential
- Tidy up your garden before the storm hits – children’s toys, garden gnomes and plant pots can all be thrown around in the wind, and you don’t want them hitting your home or car
Clearing Up After The Storm
Whether your fence has been toppled, plant pots dashed or your home has been flooded, most people will have some sort of post-storm tidying to do.
The first thing to do is to let your insurer know of any damage so that they can help arrange for repairs or start to reimburse you for your costs. Depending on what company you’re insured with and which broker you used, you will probably have been given a claims hotline to call, and it’s best to let them know before you undertake any work on the house.
When you start to examine your house for damage and to make repairs, be sure to take safety precautions. Strong winds can damage walls and outdoor lights, exposing electrical wires – something that doesn’t mix well with torrential rain. Walls, trees and fences that are prone to collapse should also be treated with caution, as you might not realise that they have been damaged until it’s too late.
Above all it’s important to consult with your home insurance provider before you tackle storm damage, to stay safe throughout and to have all work done by qualified professionals.
For a massive range of home insurance policies, as well as specialist flood risk home insurance, visit https://www.adrianflux.co.uk/household-insurance/ or call 0800 369 8590 to speak to a member of our team to find out more.